June 18, 2010
City cracks down on Marine Court blight
Kerr is by most accounts a bright, kind man who clearl has a penchant for collecting all the junk he can drag to his land, where it is jammed into collapsing sheds and seemingly filling up his dilapidated house as well. I counted more than two dozen broken bicycles sticking out of piles of debris, not even counting the handful I watched D'Amato's cranes drop into a dumpster.
Kerr is no ordinary pack rat. He's in a league by himself, at least in Bristol. He reminds me of some folks I ran across down South who had barn after barn loaded to the brim with bric-a-brac -- old bottles, rusty tools, cars in various states of disrepair and farm equipment that hadn't been used in decades. They never threw anything away.
Kerr, on the other hand, not only never throws anything out, he picks up whatever he can from the debris that others put out at the curb.
I don't know the answer for dealing with people like Kerr. Surely throwing him in jail would be both pointless and cruel, no way to treat a Vietnam veteran who grew up on the property and then filled it with the tossaways of others.
On the other hand, I saw a collapsing shed only a few feet from a nice little home. That's not OK either.
You can read reporter Jackie Majerus' story about the situation here and her sensitive blog post about it here.
This story isn't over.
The city is going after Kerr's house as well. You can see why from this picture, showing the view in from a rear window:
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